Dancing Grouse Animation

Cocky chick, 
Cocky chick,
Itching for a fight,
Until it gets too real,
Then he opts for flight.

This little animation was inspired in part by an encounter I had with a young grouse chick who was attempting to intimidate me with his incredible moves. Rather than flee in terror I watched the display and was impressed with this brave little chick. But also when Paul Clifford sent me his musical number Woke Dreams that my imagination was inspired and soon after this little Grouse and his moves became a video. Why? Simply for my own amusement I guess, there is no deep thought or meaning in this number, nor does it reflect actual Grouse reality or culture in anyway but is meant as a portrayal of human culture. Be aware that I did create it with a younger audience in mind, with the intent of bringing a smile to a child’s face so maybe this video is not so shallow or meaningless after all.

Several species of Grouse are common in Coastal Salish territories, they are numerous and are a food source for both people and other wildlife. Personally I love to hear the sound of their drumming coming from the edges of the forest, it is both a magical and haunting sound from a beautiful and brave little bird.

Like what you hear, Woke Dream the music from this video along with other amazing audio loops created by Paul Clifford’s Jawshop Adventure Recording Studios will soon be available at our coming soon new loop shop SpiceRack.

The Jawshop presents ‘Working Man’ – by Bob Hamm

I am delighted to be sharing more of Bob Hamm and Paul Clifford with you all. These two seasoned professionals and University or East Hastings Alumni have teamed up again to bring us another brilliant tune and music video. This tune is titled Working Man and was written in their honour so we invite all you working men and the people who love them to give it a listen, unlike most things these days it won’t cost a dime.

Working Man Words and Music composed by - Bob Hamm 
Bob Hamm on Guitar and Vocals
Paul Clifford on Drums
Video Production - The Jawshop Adventure Recording Studios

Little Owl

Little Owl, 
Little Owl sitting unseen in the shadows,
Watching the toing and froing, 
Of those coming and going.

One feels them watching you when you are out and about, then you look and see those beautiful big eyes, their eyes speak volumes and can’t be kept quiet. That is how I managed to get these few shots of this little Barred Owl (Strix varia), I felt his presence first. He was trying to remain discrete less they attract the wrong kind of attention. For despite how lovely these quiet little creatures appear to us, they are in fact predators and in nature it is uncommon for species to get along.

  • Raven Perched on Fir Tree
  • A Robin (Turdus migratorius) picking berries taken with Olympus Evolt E-300 by TS Ni hUiginn.

I have seen everything from Robins to Raven’s prevent these little fellows from getting a well needed days rest. But the truth is because they are night creatures, so these shots are pretty precious. and I had to open up the exposure to be able to see the little guy. I have heard them more than seen them, but even unseen their hoots are magical and I have been blessed on many night by their songs and medicine.

Blessed are the Owls,
and all little things, 
the scaled, feathered or furry, 
those that fly, swim or scurry.

The Jawshop Presents Travelin’ On – by Bob Hamm

We invite you to check out this new music video ‘Travelin’ On’ composed and performed by Bob Hamm, vocals and guitar, accompanied by Paul Clifford, on drums.

This video was created at the Jawshop Adventure Recording Studios in Ontario, Canada. If you would like to check out more from the Jawshop Adventure Recording Youtube Channel by clicking the link below.

Paul Clifford The Jawshop Adventure Recordings Logo

Exalted Raven: Master of the Skies, Spiritual Messenger, Cultural Beacon, Protector of Life or Common Vermin.


The raven once in snowy plumes was drest,
White as the whitest dove’s unsullied breast,
Fair as the guardian of the Capitol,
Soft as the swan; a large and lovely fowl
His tongue, his prating tongue had changed him quite
To sooty blackness from the purest white.

  • Raven Perched on Fir Tree pecking at a chicken bone.
  • Raven Perched on Fir Tree pecking at a chicken bone.
  • Raven Perched on Fir Tree pecking at a chicken bone.

People hold a long of different opinions about the Raven but whether you love or loathe this beautiful and intelligent creature may depend on your livelihood. Bards, poets and artists have long revered the Raven, it is often our muse, our master and our inspiration; whereas farmers have a far more dimmer view than we do and that is somewhat understandable. It did not escape my notice when once photographing a Raven that it was happily consuming a Rhode Island Red that it had acquired from a nearby newly established free range egg farm. They tell me that business is cut throat and predatory by nature and this fact also includes nature, or did in this case because the Raven’s got the spoils from that venture for sure.

‘It suits my own attitude toward the world and its people to believe that the Raven is this completely self-centered, uninvolved bringer of change, through inadvertence and accident, and so on… It’s a version of the Raven myth for today, not for the time when it was created.’

Bill reid
Raven Design by Salish Artist Charles J Craigan
Raven Design by Salish Artist Charles J Craigan

Charlie Craigan’s Raven painting, in traditional Salish Native style, is a trickster, playful and clever spiritual guide and his intimate relationship with humans is illustrated by the figure in Raven’s wing. Culturally, historically and presently the Raven has and will continue to be an important creature and symbol to people of all cultures globally. Like with this design they are commonly seen as spiritual messengers and protectors, and stories of Ravens and their relationship with people are as normal and natural as life itself it seems. It is easy to see why they are admired by us as we observe their beautiful blackness, unique intelligence, romantic natures, amazing flight capabilities as well as the incredible courage and daring they demonstrate.

‘In the battlefield men grapple each other and die;
The horses of the vanquished utter lamentable cries to heaven,
While ravens and kites peck at human entrails,
Carry them up in their flight, and hang them on the branches of dead trees.

Li Bai
  • Flying Ravens
  • Three Ravens in Flight

They are associated with violence and death, of ill omen and fate and a flock of Raven’s is called a unkindness in the English language. Juvenile flocks of Ravens are very common and like most gangs of youth they can and do create havoc at times so this negative association may have some foundation. Ravens, like the Eagles and other creatures, survive by consuming carrion be it dead salmon by the spawning stream or dead warriors on the edge of a battlefield and it is this reality that unsettles us so much but is not evidence of Raven’s being evil in either scenario.

‘He that visits the sick in hopes of a legacy, but is never so friendly in all other cases, I look upon him as being no better than a raven that watches a weak sheep only to peck out its eyes.’

Seneca the Younger
  • Two Ravens Flying together.
  • Two Ravens Flying together.
  • Two Ravens in Flight

It is however it is something found in the eye of the beholder, more than that of the creature itself that is behind their meanings and the stories. Or behind the human culture itself because it is unfortunate that many see the misery, war, illness and even death of other people as an opportunity to profit and nothing more. Those carrion consumers illustrate the darker and unpleasant side of the human reality that we are often discouraged to explore or if we do is often snubbed or ignored for lighter fair. For the truth is Raven, or what cultures and artists project onto them is reflective of who we are as individuals, communities and societies than it has anything to do with them. Ravens, you see, are competent and content doing their Raven thing and would be fine without our presences, but we are obsessed with them which is why they are always at the top of our favourite muses and subjects to explore. And how we respect or abuse them is a fairly accurate measure for how we treat the rest of the world as well.

‘I have created the Raven in my own image over the years and insist that mine is the version of this personality that is correct – well, at least it is correct as far as I am concerned.’

Bill reid
  • Croaking Raven Perched on Fir Tree
  • An Adult Raven supervising its flying Chick from a branch
  • Raven Perched on Branch
  • Raven Perched on Fir Tree

This version of Raven is one of Charles Craigan’s first paintings. Raven has a human figure in the wing signifying the spiritual connection between human, the inner child, the need to keep an open mind and a Raven that is universal and significant to many cultures. Charles’ Raven is a positive figure and this is meant to be worn or displayed in honour of that relationship by any or all people who also adore this beautiful creature.

Anyone who wishes to support Charles J Craigan by purchasing some of his art his designs are available at T Spring, the images link to his store.

The Jawshop presents the Croc E Moses Interview

We invite you to check out Paul Clifford and the Jawshop’s latest podcast as he starts out the new year with a brilliant interview with South African/Canadian Poet, Musician Croc E Moses.

Link image to Jawshop Croc E Moses podcast

These two seasoned musicians and composers take a deep dive into their experience recording and filming Moses’s song ‘Devious Honesty’ at the Jawshop Adventure Recording’s Main Studio. This tune was recorded at began in March of 2022 the elaborate on the lengthy technical polishing process that they undertook to obtain the final product. Moses also speaks about the lyrics and what motivated him or create this musical piece, which as a simple music fan I found quite interesting.

They begin to muse of the present global state we are all in and how it has inspired the song, through word deception from the media in impacting us all. And how word play and inversion of meanings are being used against people and culture in very unhealthy and unhelpful way. They touch on people who identify as cameras and where this leaves the artists or is it our destiny to go extinct and be replaced by those who identify as cameras. The delve into their personal experiences at the Trucker Convoy and how it differs completely from the media narrative which was dishonest and how that experience has effected this song and their work.

I won’t give it all away the podcast is there to be listened to but personally I like this conversation and this song because it touches on subjects that many of us are have on our minds. The struggle of the artist in this toxic political climate with the risk of being cancelled looming over your head and how you have to reflect on what and why we are artists and to think deeply about the grave times we are in. This struggle however is not limited to just artists, or truckers it includes most of the people in our communities and on our planet. And upon undertaking this self reflection it becomes clear, I hope, that money is not why we do what we do, that there is deeper and more loving communal motivations that compel us to create and share our work, to take care of each other and ourselves, to make sure the situation is good for us to be productive people who help our communities out. Because frankly, loving supportive communities that allow us to express ourselves are better for everyone and something many people have fought and even died for other to obtain and I think it would be truly shameful to throw that away for mere money or simple fame. If nothing more this conversation makes one feel a little less alone and lost in the bigger toxic political nightmare that dominates our lives.

If you want to check out more Croc just click this link to go to his site.